Following the replacement of fifty Great Britain Pound (GBP) Sterling (£50), Twenty GBP (£20) with new polymer notes, Nigerian banks have fixed December 31 as the deadline for customers to deposit their £20 and £50 notes.
The Bank of England, UK, had introduced a new polymer design of £50 notes into circulation effective June 23, 2021, and fixed September 30, 2022, to complete withdrawal of the notes from circulation.
Therefore, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria through various circulars to customers, have notified the public that they would no longer accept the old notes at the end of this year.
The new note features the portrait of scientist Alan Turing with the conversion of paper GBP denominations to the polymer.
Similarly, the old paper £20 with features of Adam Smith, and the old paper £50 with features of Mathew Boulton and Engineer James Watt will remain acceptable until the published withdrawal date of September 30, 2022, as announced by the Bank of England
“The Bank of England has announced the withdrawal of paper £20 and £50 notes after September 30, 2022. A year’s notice has been provided to customers and the global banking community,” Fidelity bank, disclosed in an email to customers on Wednesday.
“In view of this, Fidelity Bank, alongside other Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria, has issued a deadline of December 31, 2021, for acceptance of the stated denominations from the public to enable proper conclusion of cash evacuation.
“Thus, we advise you to use or deposit your paper GBP notes into your Fidelity Bank domiciliary account by December 31, 2021, to avoid a loss in the value of your money,” it noted.
Wema and Zenith banks have also issued directives to their staff for the due date, after which they will no longer be legal tender.
According to new data from the Bank of England, there is £24billion worth of old paper £20 and £50 notes still in circulation.
This is made up of £9billion worth of £20 notes – approximately 450million notes, or eight for every adult in Britain.
Meanwhile, there are £15billion worth of £50 notes, roughly 300million notes – or five for each adult in Britain.
It warns it will be withdrawing legal tender status of these notes after the cut-off date and is encouraging people to either spend them or deposit them at their bank or Post Office before this date.
After the cut-off date, those with a UK bank account may be able to deposit them in branches of their own bank, but this varies and limits can apply, as they are not legally obliged to accept them.
The Bank of England says the Post Office may also accept withdrawn notes as payment for goods and services or as a deposit to an account – but not as an exchange.